Week 6 Word: AVERSION
The New Recruit
Having been turned away from the gate at the Navy base, Linda makes her way to the café near by. The waitress looks Linda up and down, guessing what Linda’s story is and asks, “What can I get you?” “Cherry Coke, please,” Linda replies sheepishly. The waitress fills the request, turns away from this lonely waif, and enters the kitchen, “Hey, Madge, we have a donkey out there, suitcase, saddle shoes and all.” “Not another one,” Madge, owner of the coffee shop, answers. “Oh yeah, it’s June – lots of them show up after graduation. The lonely hearts that show up other times are the girls that quit school. Those are the ones that you can’t help feeling for because you know what they end up doing once the pimps get a hold of them. They may have an aversion at first but they get over it.”
“You find your man, honey?” asks Madge as she comes out of the kitchen. “Not yet”, Linda replies, “they asked if he was an officer or enlisted – What is enlisted?” “Ye gads! Enlisted means he joined up on his own, without a college education. When he went to the recruiter, they asked his education level. If he’s smart, they make him an officer.”
“What’s a recruiter?” Linda wants to know. “Ye gads”, says Madge, as she shakes her head in disbelief. “A recruiter is the man who signs the boys in.” “Do they take women too?” Linda is hoping. “Ye gads, the only women are the nurses that work at the hospital.” Hesitantly Linda asks, “What’s a donkey?” “Where did you hear that?” Madge questioned. Linda replies sheepishly, as she kicks her suitcase further under the counter, “I heard some uniformed men talking and I had never heard that before.” Madge decided it was best to be honest with her, “A donkey is a nice way of saying a person who is too stubborn and too stupid to realize that the government doesn’t cater to individuals. The government owns every one of these boys.”
Sitting in front of the recruiter, Linda answers each question respectfully. “What grade did you complete?” he barks. “Yes, from Marysville’s High School last week.” “Are you physical fit?”, “I was a cheerleader.” The exchange of questions and answers continue.
Finally, the recruiter sums up the interview. “In my experience there are only three reasons why women want to join the military: 1 – They’re a donkey. 2 – They’re living their father’s dream. 3 – They’re looking for a free education.” “What about being patriotic and wanting to serve their country?” Linda responds incredulously. “There are a lot of ways to serve without putting your life in danger. Make no mistake – the Navy can be dangerous, it’s not all sailing around the world,” was his response.
More information was coming, but the words landed on deaf ears. If Paul was behind those gates, then she wanted to be behind those gates, too. Maybe we could live on the same base after we’re married, she thought. “Where do I sign up?” She announced defiantly, “I want to be a nurse.”